Saturday, November 28, 2009

Broadband difficulties in Howdenshire Villages

On a number of occasions I have been approached regarding the broadband speeds in and around Howdenshire Villages, particularly Bubwith, Newport and Home On Spalding Moor (HOSM). There are instances where broadband speeds and mobile phone signal strength are so low it makes both working from home or running a business that requires a high speed internet connection almost impossible.

Broadband is no longer considered a luxury - it has become an essential service delivering commercial, economic and social benefits. It may be a determining factor for an employee who wishes to work from home or an individual or company looking to set up or expand a business in the area. It may be students wanting to use the internet to help with their coursework, or people who simply want to communicate more easily with others through social networking sites such as facebook.

One resident, a consultant working as part of a London based team in the agricultural and food industry, has particular problems and is probably the worst case in the area (unless someone knows differently). The situation was barely adequate before the early part of the year when the BT cable was accidentally cut necessitating a repair, and since then achieving a landline broadband connection has been almost impossible. His situation is compounded by poor mobile phone coverage so mobile broadband is difficult too. To carry out the large part of his work requiring a broadband connection now means visiting someone else’s house.

Although broadband now covers 99% of the country, the Government acknowledge that speeds are variable and service is weak or non-existent in some areas. Generally in Newport, Bubwith and HOSM speeds are slower than in other similar communities, and the speeds differ with the distance from the exchange, so those living at the edges of the villages suffer more, as shown in the case of the resident above. You might be interested in taking a look at which will provide home users an instant free test of their actual broadband speed.

The East Riding of Yorkshire Council recognises the rural economy’s increasing dependence on technology such as broadband availability and has written to the Government Minister urging the Government to fulfil its promise of making internet connectivity available to all.

Rural Broadband accessibility was looked into by the Council’s Greater Prosperity Overview and Scrutiny Committee this last week and will look further into the problem during the coming year, if anyone would like to provide any evidence or information to this committee please let me know.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


I read with interest your comments regarding broadband in our village of Newport.. We have been with AOL since broadband came to he village, but have found that the speed does not meet our requirements. 3 of us often do some element of work from home, i personally cannot use my MS Access programme from home to complete work via my employers link. A few months ago i contacted AOL to get the MAC code as we had a 2mb max service with them which was not best value, and at most we were receiving 1.5mb at any one time. i was offered a max 8mb (appreciate that our exchange only supports 6mb max) at a cost of £2 per month less than we were paying for the lesser package. Of course we accepted. I contacted AOL apx 10 days later as the speed hadn't changed to be told the package had been upgraded a few days prior, and that they were outputting 6mb to us, they passed me through to a "techie" who talked us through some "minor" adjustments, 2 days later with no improvement I rang again. After explaining the issue, the upgrade, the previous phone call, the changes made, i was told that BT cap our speed at the exchange, as they don't have the technology required to adjust to the needs of all of the users!! I asked how when I was paying AOL a 3rd party could do this, and they advised that they pay BT for use of the equipment in the exchange and therefore have no control over the service. Basically telling me that I have no choice and no recourse which I find hard to believe.

My son works in IT for a Howden based company, and they have recently installed broadband via BT for an employee living in Eastrington, who has absolutely no issue with speed or working from home, yet Eastrington is farther away from the exchange than we are in Newport, I therefore conclude that despite what they say, it isn't distance which creates the problems. He has also been on some broadband forums, and hears from some more technically experienced people than himself that AOL are actually "pulling a fast one" and that if we put the pressure in they will have to take some action, as they have learnt from experience. I do find it disgraceful that service providers are allowed to treat their paying customers in this way.

I am not writing to you with complaint, although it may seem like it, more to share our own experience of the service offered and provided, and to offer my appreciation that someone is looking into the issues we experience in rural areas.